An Easter Offering for St. Landry Churches

Photo by  Leslie Westbrook , for the  Acadiana Advocate

Photo by Leslie Westbrook, for the Acadiana Advocate

Trinity has decided to give its Easter Sunday offering to the three churches recently burned in St. Landry Parish. In addition to supporting the rebuilding effort, we intend with this donation to send a signal of solidarity to all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Click the button to give to this offering, or read more below.

Easter Offering for St. Landry Churches

Three St. Landry churches were burned over a ten-day period - St. Mary Baptist on March 26th, Greater Union Baptist on April 2nd, and Mount Pleasant Baptist on April 4th. The proximity of the burnings in space and time, combined with the fact that all are historically black congregations, strongly suggests arson. Authorities have arrested a young-man allegedly responsible. Evidently, the young-man was influenced by Black Metal, a musical genre strongly associated with neo-paganism and church burning.

While Acadiana has been grappling with these burnings for a number of weeks, the recent fire in Notre Dame Cathedral brought a new national attention to St. Landry.

What are we to make of the close proximity of all these church burnings? Certainly we can see the work of our spiritual enemies, Satan and all his host, to inspire needless destruction and exacerbate racial tension. We should also be reminded that ideas have consequences, and that in the absence of the true God, people will turn to false gods as they seek meaning and purpose. The dry roof of Notre Dame is a kind of metaphor for the arid spiritual climate of the secular west. The decline of Christianity is preparing the way for a neo-pagan conflagration.

But we should not lose hope. On the contrary, we can join with Paul, who asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” None of these! For “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).

Indeed, what some intend for evil, God can use for good. In France, the Notre Dame fire can serve to unify the nation, and provide a wake-up call to return to their Christian heritage. Likewise, in Louisiana, the St. Landry fire can inspire new engagement across racial and denominational lines, and encourage solidarity between Christians. As God has been so generous to us, let us give to one another.

Peter Johnston